Vets Struggle To Deal With The VA’s New Policy On Pain Medication

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In an effort to reduce the use addictive prescription drugs, namely painkillers, the Department of Veterans Affairs dramatically cut back the dosage of certain medications, following a string of policy changes between 2009 and 2012. The problem? There was no tapering off, just a hard stop, and for veterans who had been taking addictive, albeit prescribed medication, the sudden change had tragic results.

In a two-part series by the Star Tribune, journalist Mark Brunswick and photographer Brian Peterson tell the story of Minnesota veterans struggling to cope with pain and addiction after being taken off their medication.